Tottenham have completed the signing of Gareth Bale on a season-long loan.
The 31-year-old returns to Spurs from Real Madrid seven years after he moved in the opposite direction in a then world-record transfer.
Spurs have moved quickly over the last couple of days to tie the deal up, with the Wales international flying into London on Friday morning, and he is seen as a marquee addition to Jose Mourinho’s squad.
The club confirmed he would not be match fit until after October’s international break, having sustained a knee injury while on international duty earlier this month.
Bale, who will wear the number nine shirt, said in an interview posted on Tottenham’s Twitter feed: “It’s nice to be back. It’s such a special club to me. It’s where I made my name and what an amazing club, amazing fans.
“It’s just incredible to be back and hopefully now I can get some match fitness and get under way and really help the team, and hopefully win trophies.”
“I always thought when I did leave that one day I would love to come back. The opportunity now has arisen and I feel like it’s a good fit.
✍️ We are delighted to announce the return of @GarethBale11 to the Club on a season-long loan from Real Madrid!#BaleIsBack ⚪️ #COYSpic.twitter.com/6w8P1CLx61— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) September 19, 2020
“I feel like it’s a good time for me. I’m hungry, I’m motivated, I want to do well for the team and I can’t wait to get started.”
Bale believes he can bring a “winning mentality” to a team that has not won a trophy since 2008.
“I think by going to Madrid, winning trophies and going far with the national team I feel like I have that kind of winning mentality, how to win trophies,” Bale said.
“You don’t realise it until you’re there and in those situations, in finals, know how to kind of deal with the situation, the nerves, the pressure, and I think that all goes with experience.
“Hopefully I can bring that to the dressing room, bring a bit more belief to everybody that we can win a trophy, and the target is to do that this season, to be fighting on every front possible. I want to bring that mentality here, back to Tottenham.
“It’s an exciting time for everybody here, the club continues to progress every year and I want to contribute to that again and try to get us to the next level, which is winning a trophy.
“It’s such an important thing for this club, to win trophies. As players, we want to win trophies in our careers, and to be doing it at Tottenham now would be a dream come true.”
Left-back Sergio Reguilon has also made the move from Madrid to north London, sealing a permanent transfer.
The Spaniard, who spent last season on loan at Europa League winners Sevilla, has signed a five-year contract at Spurs. Madrid have inserted a buy-back clause into the deal.
But it is an emotional return to Spurs for Bale, who made 203 appearances for them between 2007 and 2013.
He developed into a world-class player and was sold to Real Madrid for a then world-record £85million.
The Welshman won everything there was to win in Spain, including four Champions League titles, and he became one of the top three players in the world behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
But things turned sour for him in the final couple of years at the Bernabeu as he fell out of favour under Zinedine Zidane and he was subject to heavy criticism over his perceived preference to play golf rather than perform on the pitch.
His return to Spurs means that Mourinho finally gets his hands on a player he has tried to sign twice in the past, first when he was at Real Madrid and then again at Manchester United.
And his arrival into Mourinho’s Spurs squad could not be more timely as they have laboured in their opening two games of the campaign.
They were totally devoid of any attacking threat in a 1-0 Premier League loss to Everton before needing two goals in the final 10 minutes to beat Lokomotiv Plovdiv 2-1 in Europa League qualifying.
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